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Survey: Majority of consumers will spend 75% of holiday budgets online this year

It looks like it’s going to be another great holiday for Amazon. Numerous surveys suggest that the e-commerce giant will be a primary beneficiary of increased online shopping this year. But the data also show consumer shopping is becoming less binary: online vs. offline. Particularly among Millennials.

Majority intend to buy online. A new survey of 1,500 US adults from Euclid found that a large majority of consumers intend to spend most of their holiday shopping budgets online. And those that plan to shop at Amazon, will spend a significant chunk of their money there. Whether they actually do that is another matter, but the survey numbers are pretty striking:

“[T]he majority of all respondents (78 percent) plan to spend as much as three quarters of their holiday budget at an online marketplace like Amazon this holiday season. Of those who plan to shop specifically at Amazon, they intend to spend more than half (56 percent) of their total holiday budget with the online retailer,” the report found.

% Planning to Spend Three-Fourths or More of Holiday Budget Online

Source: Euclid Evolution of Retail: Consumer Research Report (10/18)

The chart above shows the percent of shoppers saying they’re going to spend three-quarters of their holiday budgets online. But “online” here may mean “with an assist from stores.”

Consumers value stores for a range of reasons. The Euclid survey found that almost 70 percent wanted to “see, hold and try on products before buying,” which was an increase of 21 percent over the previous year’s survey. In addition, 55 percent liked browsing in stores, while 47 said they “don’t have the patience to wait for a delivery.”

Top Reasons to Shop in Stores

Source: Euclid Evolution of Retail: Consumer Research Report (10/18)

Millennials more engaged with physical stores. The report also found that “Millennials are engaging in physical stores more than any other generation.” More than Generation X, Millennials appear to be inclined to go into stores for discounts and “advice from knowledgeable store associates.” Although not part of this survey, Generation Z is even more offline-shopping friendly than Millennials.

One of the most interesting findings in the report involves consumers who visit stores and then subsequently buy online. Those numbers are growing, suggesting that an increasing number of US consumers are using stores as showrooms to physically examine products before buying.

Shoppers Who Purchase Online Half the Time or More After A Store Visit

Source: Euclid Evolution of Retail: Consumer Research Report (10/18)

The report also contains additional insights and recommendations, chief among which is that it’s a mistake to close on Thanksgiving because Millennials intend to shop in stores on that day in large numbers.

What matters to marketers. Euclid points out that brands and retailers still tend think of online and offline as separate channels but consumers don’t make that binary distinction. Millennials in particular blur the channels, buying online and picking up in the story or buying online after visiting the store. Euclid argues that retailers need to rethink the store experience and leverage physical stores to more effectively compete with Amazon, which hasn’t yet fully transformed itself into an omnichannel retailer.


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